Kirby Smart shares halftime message he gave Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett

1/10/22 - Indianapolis -Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) completes a pass in the second quarter at the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Monday, January 10, 2022. Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com

INDIANAPOLIS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart had a direct message for Stetson Bennett at halftime: Settle down.

The Bulldogs trailed Alabama by a 9-6 count at halftime of the CFP Championship Game on Monday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“I told him we’ve got to settle down,” Smart said during his half-time interview. “We haven’t had probably one drive that we didn’t have negative plays starting on where we started backed up. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot, we’re first and 15, second and 20, you’re not going to have a good football team when you do that.

“We’ve got to get some things together on offense.”

Bennett had an intentional grounding on the opening drive of the second half, effectively resulting in a 9-yard sack.

The Bulldogs defense held the Tide out of the end zone, with QB Bryce Young 15-of-26 passing for 206 yards.

Alabama lost its leading receiver, Jameson Williams, to a knee injury at the 12:28 mark of the second quarter.

“I think we’ve got other players that have an opportunity,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. “There are a lot of young guys out there. They’ve got talent.

“So they’ve got to play with a competitive character and have a chance to make some plays. They don’t have the experience, but they’re going to get it tonight.”

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